Question

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Can I reverse the aging process with exercise?

A Answers (5)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    A recent study in a very prestigious journal showed that exercise retarded every detrimental effect of aging in mice. Not that we are accusing you or your brother of being like a mouse, but the data is impressive in humans as well. If you exercise regularly and do it with some umph (meaning you get your heart rate up), you can slow the rate of aging or even reverse it.  Exercise has been shown to slow cognitive and physical decline n humans (like in mice) so you’re less likely to suffer from memory thieves.  It also relieves stress and we all know that chronic stress puts the aging process on fast forward.  Not to mention it staves off chronic diseases and other medical problems that also age your body.  So stay physically active for as long as you can and you will feel up to 10 years younger.
  • ARealAge answered

    Sounds too good to be true, but one of the most exciting areas of study currently underway is how exercise can literally reverse aging. A team of Canadian and American researchers looked at the effects of six months of strength training in volunteers aged sixty-five and older. They took small biopsies of thigh-muscle cells from the seniors before and after the six month period, then compared them with muscle cells from twenty-six volunteers whose average age was twenty-two. The scientists expected to find evidence that the program improved the seniors’ strength, which it did by 50 percent. But they never expected what else the witnessed: dramatic changes at the genetic level. The genetic fingerprint of those elderly volunteers who’d gone through the strength training program was reversed nearly to that of younger people. In other words, their genetic profile resembled that of a younger group.

    How did they measure this change and difference? At the beginning of the six-month period, researchers found significant differences between the older and younger participants in the behavior of six hundred genes. These particular genes become either more or less active with age. By the end of the exercise phase, a third of those genes had changed, and upon closer observation they realized that the ones that changed were the genes involved in the functioning of mitochondria. Mitochondria are your cells’ generators, where ATP gets created to process nutrients into energy. Another way to look at this is to say you’re only as old as your genes act.

    From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

  • Everyone ages, and nobody lives forever, however, exercise has however been shown to slow the effects of aging. You won’t reverse the aging process, but will slow it down. With exercise, you will feel healthy, be vibrant, and have a lower risk for chronic disease; All of these are attributes of youthfulness.

  • AAshley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Energy is often equated with youth. When you're young, you have more energy, feel more energetic, and look the part, too. This isn't just a sensation. Our age can be seen in our genes, and we can also see the difference that physical activity makes.

    The idea that exercise can "reverse" aging is no longer proven by anecdotal evidence alone. It's been an area of intense and exciting research worldwide. A team of Canadian and American researchers showed that exercise can partially help reverse the aging process at the cellular level. They looked at the effects of six months of strength training in elderly volunteers aged 65 and older. They took small biopsies of thigh-muscle cells from the seniors before and after the six-month period, then compared them with muscle cells from 26 young volunteers whose average age was 22. The scientists expected to find evidence that the program improved the seniors' strength, which it did by 50 percent. But they never expected what else they witnessed: dramatic changes at the genetic level. The genetic fingerprint of those elderly volunteers who'd gone through the strength training program was reversed nearly to that of younger people. In other words, their genetic profile resembled that of a younger group.

    How did they measure this change and difference? At the beginning of the six-month period, researchers found significant differences between the older and younger participants in the expression of 600 genes, indicating that these genes become either more or less active with age. By the end of the exercise phase, the expression of a third of those genes had changed, and upon closer observation they realized that the ones that changed were the genes involved in the functioning of mitochondria. That's right: it all goes back to your mitochondria, your cells' chief generators where adenosine triphosphate (ATP) -- the molecule that provides energy for physiological processes) -- gets created to process nutrients into energy.
  • AUnitedHealthcare answered

    Keeping fit can help your life expectancy in two ways, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It can decrease your chances of developing diseases and conditions as you age. It also can affect the aging process itself, as shown by the impact on an individual's chromosomes.

    During the study, researchers learned that chromosomes can give clues on the effects of aging. The chromosomes of the most active people were similar to those of inactive people 10 years younger.

    Another study by the Buck Institute for Age Research found that exercise – and weight training in particular -- actually can revive muscle tissue. Active older men and women took part in six months of twice-weekly strength training. Then, their tissue samples were compared to those of younger men and women. Exercise brought the samples from the older group back to levels similar to those in the younger group.

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